Being Ignorant is No Excuse for Making Wack Music

“I’ma put it in hard, help these kids…” —Shyne, XXL September 2010.

Professional wrestling has more in common with hip-hop than most folks are willing to admit. Most popular rappers tend to have some kind of don’t-test-me attitude. They give proud speeches about how they’re going to roll over the competition. Ask them whether all of this is “fake” and you might get a verbal beat-down, or worse. If the mainstream press buzzes about a real-life violent incident with a connection to rap (say, a shooting before, during or after a concert), the favorite retort is, “Hey, it’s entertainment, don’t blame us.”

Vince McMahon would be proud.

Atlanta native Young Jeezy, interviewed in XXL, maintains that he should be given the crown of authenticity compared to other rappers whose past lifestyles allegedly don’t match up to the themes in their songs. Native Belizean Shyne was recently released from a 10-year prison bid following a trial involving himself and former mentor Sean “Puffy” Combs, in the aftermath of a nightclub shootout in 1999. For his part, Shyne professes that he acted in self-defense, and stresses that his prison behavior kept pace with “street codes.”

Whether or not one concerns his or herself deeply about this depends on one’s tolerance level for “nignorance.” Nignorance is when prison and drug-game morals and ethics spill from those subcultures into the general community, and are allowed to creatively and thematically stifle the political depth of hip-hop music. The inane debate over “no snitching” in urban neighborhoods illustrates this.

“Ain’t nothin’ wrong with my people,” —Shyne, XXL September 2010.

Incarcerated folks catch fits about who is more of a genuine “street” artist, writing lengthy letters to magazines like XXL. Of course, “keeping it real” is what lands any number of heads behind bars to begin with. CLICK HERE for the breakdown for Blacks and Latinos in U.S. prisons: “Captive audience,” indeed.

Nignorance is rappers concocting (and their hangers-on supporting) elaborate stories about being major drug-gamers before their record deals. It’s accepting the notion that a young Black/Latino, aged 15-25, can have a self-contained million-dollar drug empire, not become a marked man for the mob and/or police, and not come out the other end of this in jail, dead, or broke. To do so ignores a slew of American realities. This goes for Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and everyone else who has claimed “street king” status in their past.

Nignorance is a prosperous “street merchant” choosing not to invest one’s gains in legitimate endeavors like real estate, waste management, credit unions, laundromats, grocery stores, etc., but instead chasing down label reps, hawking CDs from their car trunk, competing in open-mic-nights, to ultimately settling for a cash-advance from a record label, then arguing about the deductions from their semi-annual royalty statements.

Rap musicians should know that life is more important than a record, or even their pride. If any of them have a violent demise, can you call it “street credibility” if their childhood street gets renamed for them?

President Obama recently signed legislation that cuts down the disparities in sentencing of those caught with crack-cocaine vs. powdered coke. A great development, though, we still have the issue of folks from the underclass who look at dope-trafficking as just another career choice, or a stepping-stone move that will give them credibility as they seek rap fame.

“I think, at the end of the day, it’s just all entertainment. It’s like wrestling,” —Young Jeezy, XXL September 2010.

Hip-hop needs to get out of the squared circle. Real lives are at stake. —Hype Styles

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  • $yk

    So, to start things off, wonderful blog. One thing I have to say though is that you could have done a better job. Here I’ll list some ways, please don’t take this as too harsh.

    1. Get your point across.
    2. Don’t drag this on for too long.
    3. Quit hatin’ on the East Coast.
    4. Punctuation, punctuation, punctuation.

    I give this blog an S for Seriously bad. Keep up the good work, though.

    • smoke weed

      If anybody haten on da east its u. bet u from da souf what u got gold in yo mouth? i dont care nigga nobody does and yall niggas will neva get respect. ever.

      • $yk

        Shut up l’il bitch! (that goes to smoke weed)

    • Kurt Cocaine

      Good points Syk but I just gotta say fuck that nigga Sha he pussy aright then Im out. Peace niggaz.

    • yoprince

      hatin’ on the east coast?

      did i miss something?

      i thought the blog was cool.. easily, the most well-written so far.

      “captive audience, indeed.” – that was nice.

      on the other hand, i don’t think any youth of color starts drug-dealing with the primary objective of one day being able to rap about it. that statement is insulting to the struggle.

      also, the pursuit of artistic expression in rap shouldn’t be belittled as “nignorance.” youth of color should be entitled to any endeavor they desire just as rich white youth sometimes decide to wax poetic over guitar strums instead of running daddy’s company.

      i’m sorry xxlmag is turning into wshh.

      • mannyd

        Good points.

        “on the other hand, i don’t think any youth of color starts drug-dealing with the primary objective of one day being able to rap about it. that statement is insulting to the struggle.”

        I slightly dissagree with this. While I agree that most youth enter the drug game due to lack of options, resources, etc. This really only occurs in the inner-city impoverished areas. Just think of the suburban kids that come from a good home and sell weed or x just to be labeled a drug dealer and live the “life.” Also, dont underestimate how impressionable the youth culture is. If a kid wants want to be a rapper with street-cred all they have to do is listen to a little jeezy and they have the formula. You would be surprised what kids do to be “real.”

        • Don mcCaine

          Before all of you manifest the writings and points…

          that ain’t $yk.

          The $ykotic Don mcCaine


          I don’t leave envelopes for follow-up

        • Don mcCaine

          @ smoke weed

          A lot of people have GOLD TEETH, not fronts/grills. Ever heard of grave robbers looting the cemeteries? That’s their main prize.

          And I’m from Marcy PJ’z fam.

          p.s. I do commend ‘faux-$yk’ for trying really hard to kick it like I do. Quite flattering I must say.


    bout to go get somethin ta eat

    • star trekkk

      wut u gonna eat? tell us.

    • star trekkk

      i said to tell us u fuck nigga now come back and tell us wut u ate or i swear to god nigga.

    • star trekkk

      nigga u bout on my last nerve.


        i aint a fuck nigga nigga u a fuck nigga n i ate some cereal u bitch ass nigga u pussy ass nigga fuck u btw

        • star trekkk

          fuck nigga dont get that tone wit me. all i ask wuz wut u was eatin fuck nigga. it aint haf to take u like 2 hrs ta answer me u fuck nigga



        • star trekk

          fuck u.

        • W. J. Rice

          I think you should both get a reality tv show and continue this routine

        • star trekkk

          this nigga started it all he had 2 do is answa my question dats all but for da rest of my life im RIDIN ON THIS NIGGA

        • RZArector

          “DA JONIS BRUTHAZ says:

          i aint a fuck nigga nigga u a fuck nigga n i ate some cereal u bitch ass nigga u pussy ass nigga fuck u btw

          star trekkk says:

          fuck nigga dont get that tone wit me. all i ask wuz wut u was eatin fuck nigga. it aint haf to take u like 2 hrs ta answer me u fuck nigga”

          Ignorance at it’s finest, MLK would be so proud.

  • Just let yo sooooul glowwww

    I aint read da blog im just lettin any gurls here kknow dat i will beat up da pussy like nobody else in da world, i aint finna eat it i aint gay. But baby you need a nigga to tear up yo uterus with some new jersey darkmeat then hit a nigga up & you to can slob on some grade a tube steak. Yodda mean?

    • Mike Jackson on these niggas


  • Blitz

    Some of these blogs is cool but some of em like this one is skraight garbagio. Pee yew! S.

  • XO}666{OX

    I dont like this one at all i give it a “s”. SOrry try again another time.

  • triumph the insult comic wu-tang song

    what is this shit

  • rollmodel88

    its was good, a little drawn out, and i would have liked to see the point of the article delivered without dropping big names like Obamna, Jay-z, Jeezy, ect.

    • HypeStyle (the real one)

      peace– regarding “dropping big names”, the initial solicitation from XXL magazine required that we use their print articles on Jeezy/Shyne as a ‘jump-off’ point regarding discussing “street artists” in hip-hop..

  • pimp d

    fuckin all deez hoes nigga, u wish u could be like me nigga but u cant hahaha fuck boy yous a lame

  • Kang of u Niggahz


  • []D [] []\/[] []D [] []\[]

    Heard there was a party in here? All I see is a horrible blog. S!

  • aintsaidshit

    good blog na im just kiddin nigga u a lame

  • Jerod

    You’re all quote unquote fuck niggas. Go get your G.E.D’s and do something with yourselves.

    • Can Of Sprite

      Look at this fuck nigga here tryna talk that shit. Fuck nigga you gay.

  • Jerod

    Everybody wants a handout. From your mom, from your brother, from the Government. You ask me boy I don’t want the Governments dirty filthy money. I’ll go EARN some of my own fella. And I’ll tell you another thing, I’m not about to risk 25 years of my life to sell drugs either. Yeah man… lets sell coke and spend the next 2 years of our life “living the dream”… then it’ll all be over when we get popped and go to prison. Oh yeah… I forgot. We don’t THINK. We just WANT. Ha. I bet you 75% of coke dealers don’t have a family to support. They just want shiny cars… and to smoke purp everyday.

    • quiznos

      jerod go back to subway pussy

      • Jerod

        Hey man… why don’t you try to be a little more creative eh? Do you know how many times I’ve been called Jerod from Subway? It doesn’t bother me, and it shows your lack of ingenuity. Do you know what ingenuity means? You know I’m right homie. Better step your life game up.

        • W. J. Rice

          Isn’t the guy from subway, Jared, not Jerod?

  • Plies da nigga wit dat yoppa

    Whut dis nigga talkin bout huh

  • Alan Royal

    well-written blog. I like your point in urging rappers to escape their “nignorance.” It’s important to note that there is a difference between rappers who play a character for entertainment’s sake, and those who want to reflect reality. I think a true artist will strive to reflect the highlights and the downsides of the street life, allowing people to see truth. At the end of the day, the truth is what will set the youth (and the rest of us) free.

  • Xeno

    Going by most of the comments… you’re too intelligent for the readership… they’re either crack heads or Caucasians in ‘blackface’.

    • Lord Kel

      LMAO. Xeno, I was thinking the same thing.

  • sparkcity911

    soilder boy SNORTING COKE with that dumb broad
    BLOGG NIGGA… disrespect yo

    • W. J. Rice

      You should have reversed it:

      “No disrespect but, Fuck yo blog nigga”

  • Sam The Man

    why is a positive blog post filled with ignorant comments? grow up

  • M.O.B.’s food 4 thought

    Yo spark, that was a setup. I bet that was her coke. Who knows whos pimpin her. Niggas believe anything. Ya just as dumb as him for trustin her. Fab chill homie. I saw you rock soldiers glasses after you saw him do the same. Rap Game ………

  • King Joffy Joe

    This blog sounds like a white person wrote it. Anyone agree?

    • Wise Son

      No, it just looks like an intelligent Black man wrote it. Don’t resort to tired stereotypes like correct grammar and spelling automatically equals ‘acting White’.

      • W. J. Rice

        You took the words right out of mouth.

  • Adam

    Hypestyle is an INCREDIBLE writer and he comes correct with this guest blog. He should be hired full-time to blog for XXL. He would be an incredible addition.

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  • The Gallery Network

    Anacron said it best on the 3rd verse of his “DOA” remix:

    “This is anti-idiot / a ban on buffoonery / death to the jigaboo / Cron’s counter-coonery / Soon-to-be-famous ste-and-fetch musical geniuses / near millionaires that barely speak and read english / this is America / this is Black culture / twisted by capitalistic art vultures / Why every brotha in the spotlight can’t even talk right / Writing about wrongs so the kids ain’t gettin taught right / Dance step rappers / New school flunkies / Hunkies think its funny when you’re jumping around like Monkeys / House niggas, uncle toms making hip hop / Aunt Jemima’s on the set in bikini tops / While the slave master hollers “Shake it faster” / I’m embarrassed dont know where it’s going to stop but it has to / Dummies on blast / Ignorance is bliss / You oughta be ashamed when the bumpaz blast this”


  • jim

    Great article! ignorant negroes take heed before your a statistic!

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  • wtf

    faggot nigga ]:<

  • Go 2 Church Yo Ass Need Jesus

    I thought you was white from readin this stank ass blog but this just confirms it. Why XXL allows white people on their site will perplex me till the day I die which will be never btw cuz real niggas dont die.